MVI gets in on the act
On Jan 21 the Journal.ie published a Debate Room piece: Has #MeToo turned into a witchhunt, in which Men’s Voices debated with Noeline Blackwell of the Rape Crisis Centre. The piece garnered 100 comments which is very respectable. The number of articles has grown enormously since the attacks on Margaret Atwood and Catherine Deneuve and the 100 French women who dared to speak out, and amounts to a fierce backlash against a movement seen as completely out of control.
Kathy Sheridan describes a ferocious attack on Atwood : That Margaret Atwood – author of The Handmaid’s Tale, renowned feminist writer, voice of rational discourse, inspiration to millions? Yes, that one. She stands accused, as she puts it, “of conducting a War on Women, like the misogynistic, rape-enabling Bad Feminist that I am”. Her plunge to “Bad Feminist” began in 2016 when she signed an open letter calling the University of British Columbia (UBC) to account for its treatment of an accused academic, Steven Galloway.
Atwood transgressed further with her “Good Feminist accusers” by comparing UBC’s proceedings to the Salem witchcraft trials, in which a person was guilty because accused, since the rules of evidence were such that you could not be found innocent. “Guilty because accused” tends to kick in during the “Terror and Virtue” phases of revolutions. There is nothing new about what happened in UBC:
North American universities have for many years operated a policy on alleged sexual misconduct whereby the man is invariably found guilty. In a piece from Slate magazine in 2014 Emily Joffe referred to the state of affairs in Harvard:
“More than two dozen Harvard Law School professors recently wrote a statement protesting the university’s new rules for handling sexual assault claims. “Harvard has adopted procedures for deciding cases of alleged sexual misconduct which lack the most basic elements of fairness and due process,” they wrote .
It is certainly heartening to see how so many women writers are prepared to denounce this type of campaign. One such is Fionola Meredith who in a recent artlcle said Catherine Deneuve knew she would be vilified when she spoke out.
Another one not noted for standing back is Barbara McCarthy who wrote in an independent piece “Were humourless feminists gunned down in their prime, despite their tireless yet arbitrary work with the Black Lives Matter and the transgender movements”? She continues with a question: “What’s the long-term trajectory for men? Will masculinity be dormant by 2040?”
I think we can assure her that masculinity will still be alive and perhaps stronger in 2040. The real crisis is about feminism. Will women disgusted with the tyrannical rule of extremists such as the radical feminists who claim to speak on their behalf, finally overthrow these people and assert their vision of a feminism which is not dedicated to waging war on men.